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Wednesday, May 03, 2006 

Amsterdam

April 16, 2006

Happy Easter.

After breakfast, we headed into the city. First stop, though was the ticket counter in the train station so I could buy our tickets back to Paris the following day. It was a beautiful morning. Clear skies, not a cloud in sight.

We decided that it would be fun to rent bikes to get around - the sheer numbers of cyclists in Amsterdam is amazing. The sight of hundreds of bikes parked is something to behold.

We got to the bike rental shop, and it was packed - and we were there just about an hour after they opened. By the time we got to the counter, they were out of kid's bikes. My daughter is pretty tall for her age, so we tried her out on an adult bike. She wasn't comfortable. She was about three inches too short for it to work for her. I thought that maybe I could rent the bike, and she could ride on the back, but they nixed that idea. "Wait," the counterperson said. "I may have something." He ran to the back to check, and then he came back and said "How about a tandem?"

We tried it out. With a minor adjustment to the seat height, she fit in front. So, off we went. We got the hang of it pretty quickly. As the rider in the back, I was in control of the steering. I took a perverse pleasure in freaking her out. She kept thinking we were going to crash into someone or something (we didn't!)

Now, I had formed the vague idea of this trip in my mind months beforehand. I knew the dates of my daughter's exchange and thought to myself "Oh, I'll just meet her in Europe, and we can do some sightseeing." But I never really sat down and planned it. If I had, I would have gone to Amsterdam before meeting up with my kid. Hello??!! I obviously wasn't thinking. So, no hash smoking or acid dropping or ecstacy taking or mushroom eating on this trip. In fact, nothing illicit at all, dammit!

Instead, after riding all over the city, we rode over to the Rijksmuseum. I loved it, but I could practically see the waves of boredom radiating off of my daughter.

Next on the list of things to see was the Anne Frank House. My daughter was reading the book at the time (she's since finished it in English, and is now reading it in French.) The line to get in was out of control, so we decided to come back later, after dinner.

We rode around some more and did some window shopping.

We had reservations at Kantjil en de Tijger for dinner. It was great. The staff was really cool, and the rijstafel was very good. We couldn't finish the 12 dishes between us, so we packed it up and took it with us.

After dinner, we rode back to the bike shop to turn in our bike.

Next, we took a tram back to the Anne Frank house. It is a really affecting monument to the cruelty of mankind, and the resilience of the human spirit.

We were shooed out at closing time. Since it was after 9:00 by then, I decided we should head back to the hotel. We had an early train to catch to get back to Paris, and (god knows!) I didn't want to miss it.

On the way back to Utrecht, I'd sent Scottie a message telling him I'd be back in Paris the next day. He replied "Aye. Give me a toot when you're back in toon." Cute, right?

HAHAH, 'Aye, give me a toot when your back in toon'..that will be in my head alllll day!

Okay, just a plea, keep typing! (thomas will tell you, i'm sooo impatient:)
k

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